John Tampa of Ascent Hospitality Management has revealed plans to build a pair of hotels in Meridian, Miss., as part of a wider development project that includes two restaurants and an office building. Tampa says he is looking to open one hotel as a Marriott TownePlace Suites, and the other as a Marriott Fairfield Inn and Suites.
STR's Senior Vice President Jan Freitag reported during the Southern Lodging Summit in Memphis, Tenn., that average daily rate grew 4% in 2013 through July amid significant gains in the rest of the industry's performance metrics. "What happened last year was the best supply/demand equation in our generation. We had a great chance to increase ADR and we didn't. I think we're going to look back at this time in history and say we really, really missed the boat," Freitag said. Hotel executives offered possible reasons for the weak ADR growth, including a soft group market, widespread room discounting and a lag in reinvestment by hotel owners.
Hotel developers are busy at work, as the number of rooms under construction in the U.S. at the end of last month was up 23.1% from the same period the year before. But financing is still a big challenge for developers. "The equity used to get them two to three projects; now it’s one because of the lower loan to values that the lenders are willing to do," said Deno Yiankes, president and CEO of White Lodging’s investments and development division, of small developers.
The Bahamas features several all-inclusive resorts, but only some do not charge extra fees for anything. The Three Bees at Harbour Island is one of them; the resort includes three homes that can accommodate up to 26 people along with completely free watersports and other activities.
In order to make hotels more like home -- and keep guests inside of them -- many luxury hotels are launching hotel libraries. Some libraries are included in the lobby area. Country Inns and Suites teamed up with Penguin Random to launch the Read It and Return Lending Library, which lets guests borrow and return books at different locations.